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Health economics and quality adjusted life years
Economic evaluation is an important tool for health service managers to make informed and justifiable choices in health. Assume you are in a situation to decide between two patient education packages, A and B, to reduce the occurance of heart attacks in males aged 50 years and above. Previous research has demonstrated the following evidence on the education packages: Package A can give 3 years of additional life, with good probability rate, to a male person with quality of life valuation of 0.8. Cost of package A is A$3,000 per person. Package B can give 7 years of additional life to a male person with quality of life valuation of 0.5. Cost of package B is A$10,000. Package B has a similar probability rate as package A. Therefore, the incremental cost per quality adjusted life years (QALY) for package B over A is A$6,364.
Considering the above information, please discuss the following:
What is the concept of QALY? Does the above information consider all possible aspects involved in QALY calculation, to support a decision in favour of package A or B? In light of literature of strengths and weaknesses of different economic evaluation approaches, discuss if any other economic evaluation approach, as opposed to QALY, would have been more suitable to decide between education package A and B.
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